Mary Carolyn (Hanigan) Knight, passed from this world at Tucson Medical Center on Monday, May 13th at the age of 76, and is now in the presence of her Lord Jesus Christ. Though succumbing to illness, her devotion to her family and her firm belief in God supported her in her struggle and ultimately gave her peace.
Mary was born on August 12, 1942 to the late Mildred and Shorty Gibbs in Menard, TX. She was later adopted by the late George Hanigan of Douglas, Arizona. Mary attended Douglas schools and was her senior class homecoming queen. During her years in high school, Mary was involved in various clubs and activities at Douglas High School, culminating in graduation in 1960. She later attended dental assistance school and worked in the dental field for several years in California. She later moved to Sydney, Nebraska where she managed the local Chamber of Commerce office from 1974-76.
In 1976 Mary moved to Bisbee, Arizona where she operated the local Dairy Queen store. Soon after her arrival she met Frank Knight who she married in November 1977. Subsequently, Mary and Frank owned and operated Rita’s Real Estate from the late 1980’s until the mid-1990’s.
They purchased and their country home which became known as the Knight Owl Ranch, located west of Bisbee on Hwy 80. There they hosted a variety of family reunions, weddings, church, and political events for several hundred people throughout the years. Her gift of hospitality and entertaining were most evident through her cooking and decorating talents at these various gatherings.
In the late 1990’s through 2005, Mary and Frank were sales agents for the Excel Phone Communications Company where they met many associates who ultimately became close friends. From 2002-2007, they also operated the Bisbee Dairy Queen store.
Her spiritual life was extremely important. She was especially active at the Mountain View (San Jose) Baptist Church in Bisbee where she spearheaded Vacation Bible School for many years. At the time of her death, Mary was a faithful and active member and volunteer at the First Southern Baptist Church of Warren, located in Bisbee, where she and Frank served for many years. Her work resulted in many people coming to know the Lord as their personal Savior.
Through the initial influence of her father, George, Mary became a staunch supporter and very involved in the Republican Women’s Club. She held a variety of club offices through her time with the club.
Survivors include her husband of 41-years, Frank Knight of Sierra Vista, step-daughters Brenda of California, and Barbara and step-grandson Henry of Phoenix; brother-in-law Lance Knight (Terri) of Phoenix; brother Pat Hanigan, brother Tom Hanigan (Margarita), step-nieces Vanessa, Savannah and step-nephew Frankie Romero, all of Douglas; cousin Sherri Robison (Bill) of Boise, Idaho. She was preceded in death by her parents, George and Mildred Hanigan, sister Michael Ann Sinks, step-sons Wade and Bruce Meick, and brother-in-law Gary Knight.
A public viewing will be held on Friday, May 24th from 5:00-7:30pm at the Alex Espinosa Funeral Home at 1094 W. Highway 92, Bisbee, AZ. Mary’s celebration of life will be held on Saturday, May 25th. A brief viewing will be held starting at 9:00am with service beginning at 10am. Services will be held at the First Baptist Church of Bisbee located at 1173 Hwy 92, Bisbee, AZ. Reception will follow in the fellowship hall, followed by interment at Calvary Cemetery in Douglas. For further information contact Alex Espinosa Funeral Home at (520) 432-4242.